If you have been primarily dependent upon your spouse throughout your marriage, the thought of having to make it on your own after your divorce goes through may be downright scary. There are a lot of financial worries that come with the dissolution of marriage. Thankfully, spousal support may help ease some of those fears.
The award of spousal support, also known as alimony, is not the result in every divorce case. You need to qualify. If you do qualify, this may not be a benefit you get for very long.
In Texas, there are two ways in which you can seek spousal support. The first way is to negotiate alimony into your divorce settlement. The second way is to file a formal petition for support in court.
Those who go to court have the difficult job of proving that they do, indeed, meet all the necessary qualifications to receive support and that it is a need. Along with that, at least one of the following conditions must exist in your case:
- You are the victim of domestic violence
- Due to a physical or mental disability, you cannot support yourself
- You are the custodian of a child that has exceptional needs due to mental or physical disabilities
- The duration of your marriage was 10 years or more
If one meets all the necessary qualifications, a judge will approve a spousal maintenance order and set the specifics for duration and amount.
How much for how long?
In Texas, the court awards alimony at either $5,000 per month or 20 percent of your ex's monthly income, whichever is less. How long you receive these payments will depend on the length of your marriage. The minimum duration for spousal support is five years, while the maximum is typically 10 years. Longer-term alimony may be possible under very specific circumstances.
Filing the request
Filing the request for spousal support is really a simple thing to do. You fill out the right legal form, attached income information and other supporting documentation, and you send it to the court. With some legal assistance, one can handle this in no time. The hard part comes when presenting your case or if your request fails to receive approval. With the assistance of legal counsel, you can take the steps necessary to seek the financial assistance you need to move on from you marriage.